Lincoln Wheat Penny Values and Prices

Liincoln wheat cents

 James Bucki

Lincoln Wheat pennies are one of the most popular series of U.S. coins that coin collectors strive to build a complete set. Rare coins such as the 1909-S VDB and 1914-D are the "Holy Grails" of any Lincoln Wheat cent collection. Before you go down the path of building a complete set of Lincoln Wheat pennies, use the following price guide to give you an approximate value and price for your Lincoln Wheat pennies.

 

History of the Lincoln Wheat Penny

The United States Mint first minted the Lincoln Wheat penny, or "Wheatie" as they are sometimes called, in 1909. Victor D. Brenner designed the coin under the direction of Pres. Theodore Roosevelt who was on a mission to redesign our nation's coinage. Lincoln was chosen as a subject for the penny to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Brenner's three initials V.D.B. were placed on the reverse of the coin at the bottom between the stalks of the wheat ears. This new design approach was a break from tradition where only the designer's initial from his last name was used on the coin. Mint Engraver Charles E. Barber strongly objected to the use of three initials on the coin. The reverse dies were remade, and all the initials were removed but not before some coins were minted and released to the public. This extremely small release of coins resulted in the exceedingly scarce 1909-S VDB Lincoln's penny.

The Market for Lincoln Wheat Pennies

With the four different reverses on the Lincoln cent in 2009, and the new Shield reverse starting in 2010, interest in Lincoln cents peaked for a few years. Although market prices have eased over the last few years, this renewed interested has kept values and prices up.

  Any wheat penny is worth at least 5 cents to any dealer. Given the popularity of collecting Lincoln Wheat cents, there will always be a demand for quality coins.

Key Dates and Rarities

The following Lincoln wheat cents in any condition, are worth considerable more than common wheat pennies.  As such, these coins are frequently counterfeit or altered from common wheat pennies.  Therefore, before you start celebrating your early retirement with your new found fortune, have the coin authenticated by a reputable coin dealer or third party grading service. Many collectors do not consider their coin collection complete without the Lincoln Wheat penny key dates, rarities, and varieties

  • 1909-S VDB (small "S" below the date and "V.D.B." on the back at the bottom between the stems of the wheat ears)
  • 1909-S
  • 1909-S Over Horizontal S (re-punched mintmark or RPM)
  • 1914-D
  • 1917 Doubled Die Obverse
  • 1922 No "D" (missing mint mark below the date)
  • 1931-S
  • 1943 Bronze/copper (cents in 1943 were made out of zinc plated steel, not copper)
  • 1943-D Bronze/copper (cents in 1943 were made out of zinc plated steel, not copper)
  • 1943-S Bronze/copper (cents in 1943 were made out of zinc plated steel, not copper)
  • 1944 Steel (cents in 1944 were again made out of copper/bronze, some old steel blanks got minted in 1944 by mistake)

Condition or Grade 

If your coin is worn and looks similar to the one illustrated in the link below, it is considered a circulated coin. Intermediate and advanced coin collectors will learn how to grade Lincoln wheat pennies using the Sheldon scale of 1 to 70.

If your coin looks similar to the one illustrated in the link below and has no evidence of wear due to being in circulation, it is considered an uncirculated coin.

Mint Marks

As illustrated in the photo in the link below, the mint mark is located on the obverse of the coin, just below the date. Lincoln wheat pennies were produced at three different mints: Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D) and San Francisco (S).

Lincoln Wheat Penny Value Chart

Buy price is what you can expect to pay to a dealer when you purchase the coin and  sell value is what you can presume a coin dealer to pay you when you sell the coin. These are approximate retail prices and wholesale values. The actual offer you receive from a particular coin dealer will vary depending on the actual grade of the coin and a number of other factors that determine its worth.

 

1909 - 1929

Date & MintCirculated Uncirculated
BuySell BuySell
1909$2.40$1.60 $14.80$10.70
1909 VDB$8.50$5.50 $22.00$15.00
1909-S *$80.00$60.00 $330.00$230.00
1909-S Over Horiz. S *$140.00$90.00 $390.00$260.00
1909-S VDB *$680.00$550.00 $1,700.00$1,200.00
1910$0.25$0.17 $23.00$15.00
1910-S$10.80$7.10 $110.00$70.00
1911$0.60$0.40 $29.00$20.00
1911-D$5.80$3.70 $130.00$90.00
1911-S$30.00$20.00 $230.00$160.00
1912$1.40$0.90 $40.00$27.00
1912-D$7.40$4.70 $180.00$120.00
1912-S$21.00$14.00 $210.00$150.00
1913$0.90$0.60 $41.00$30.00
1913-D$3.40$2.20 $130.00$90.00
1913-S$11.50$7.70 $200.00$140.00
1914$0.90$0.60 $51.00$35.00
1914-D *$170.00$110.00 $2,700.00$1,800.00
1914-S$18.00$12.00 $390.00$260.00
1915$2.70$1.80 $90.00$60.00
1915-D$2.10$1.40 $90.00$60.00
1915-S$13.90$8.70 $250.00$170.00
1916$0.30$0.19 $26.00$17.00
1916-D$1.30$0.80 $80.00$50.00
1916-S$2.50$1.60 $110.00$80.00
1917$0.20$0.13 $21.00$14.00
1917 Dbl Die Obv *$225.00$150.00 $3,900.00$2,750.00
1917-D$0.80$0.50 $100.00$70.00
1917-S$0.70$0.40 $120.00$80.00
1918$0.24$0.15 $27.00$19.00
1918-D$1.00$0.60 $110.00$80.00
1918-S$0.60$0.40 $120.00$80.00
1919$0.22$0.15 $17.00$12.00
1919-D$0.80$0.50 $80.00$60.00
1919-S$0.60$0.40 $80.00$60.00
Date & MintCirculated Uncirculated
BuySell BuySell
1920$0.23$0.15 $17.00$12.00
1920-D$0.90$0.60 $90.00$60.00
1920-S$0.60$0.40 $130.00$90.00
1921$0.41$0.28 $49.00$34.00
1921-S$2.60$1.70 $160.00$110.00
1922 No "D" *$640.00$410.00 $4,800.00$3,300.00
1922-D$13.40$8.40 $120.00$80.00
1923$0.34$0.23 $21.00$15.00
1923-S$2.30$1.50 $250.00$170.00
1924$0.21$0.14 $31.00$23.00
1924-D$23.00$16.00 $330.00$230.00
1924-S$1.40$0.90 $160.00$120.00
1925$0.15$0.09 $16.00$11.00
1925-D$0.90$0.50 $80.00$60.00
1925-S$0.80$0.50 $160.00$110.00
1926$0.17$0.10 $12.50$8.30
1926-D$0.40$0.27 $90.00$60.00
1926-S$2.40$1.70 $270.00$180.00
1927$0.16$0.11 $12.10$8.80
1927-D$0.37$0.24 $69.00$48.00
1927-S$0.80$0.50 $100.00$70.00
1928$0.15$0.10 $12.50$9.20
1928-D$0.30$0.19 $39.00$27.00
1928-S$0.50$0.40 $80.00$50.00
1929$0.16$0.10 $12.00$8.10
1929-D$0.27$0.18 $30.00$20.00
1929-S$0.26$0.18 $26.00$19.00

1930 - 1958 and Complete Sets

Date & MintCirculated Uncirculated
BuySell BuySell
1930$0.14$0.09 $6.80$4.70
1930-D$0.24$0.15 $19.00$14.00
1930-S$0.27$0.18 $14.00$9.90
1931$0.50$0.30 $24.00$18.00
1931-D$2.80$1.90 $67.00$46.00
1931-S *$80.00$50.00 $170.00$110.00
1932$1.40$0.90 $22.00$16.00
1932-D$1.10$0.70 $27.00$19.00
1933$1.20$0.80 $24.00$17.00
1933-D$2.20$1.40 $24.00$17.00
1934$0.18$0.11 $5.10$3.50
1934-D$0.23$0.15 $12.90$9.10
1935$0.13$0.08 $3.70$2.50
1935-D$0.19$0.12 $5.40$3.70
1935-S$0.24$0.15 $13.80$9.70
1936$0.13$0.08 $2.70$1.80
1936-D$0.18$0.11 $6.20$4.20
1936-S$0.20$0.12 $6.30$4.40
1937$0.13$0.09 $2.40$1.60
1937-D$0.15$0.10 $3.60$2.40
1937-S$0.16$0.11 $3.30$2.30
1938$0.12$0.08 $3.70$2.50
1938-D$0.26$0.18 $5.60$4.10
1938-S$0.29$0.18 $4.30$3.00
1939$0.09$0.06 $2.30$1.70
1939-D$0.34$0.22 $2.90$2.10
1939-S$0.17$0.11 $2.80$1.90
Date & MintCirculated Uncirculated
BuySell BuySell
1940$0.09$0.06 $1.80$1.30
1940-D$0.13$0.08 $2.10$1.50
1940-S$0.13$0.09 $2.60$1.90
1941$0.09$0.06 $1.60$1.10
1941-D$0.15$0.09 $2.60$1.90
1941-S$0.19$0.12 $2.90$2.00
1942$0.09$0.06 $1.50$1.10
1942-D$0.10$0.06 $1.80$1.30
1942-S$0.17$0.11 $5.00$3.50
1943 Zinc$0.10$0.06 $2.60$1.90
1943-D Zinc$0.13$0.09 $3.50$2.40
1943-S Zinc$0.18$0.12 $6.10$4.50
1943 Bronze *$39,000.00$28,000.00 $1,900,000.00$1,400,000.00
1943-D Bronze *$57,000.00$48,000.00 $2,100,000.00$1,700,000.00
1943-S Bronze *$92,000.00$72,000.00 $1,400,000.00$1,100,000.00
1944$0.09$0.06 $1.60$1.10
1944 Steel *$2,700.00$1,700.00 $96,000.00$70,000.00
1944-D$0.10$0.07 $1.00$0.70
1944 D/S *$54.00$35.00 $360.00$240.00
1944-S$0.09$0.05 $1.40$0.90
1945$0.09$0.05 $1.10$0.80
1945-D$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.70
1945-S$0.09$0.05 $1.20$0.80
1946$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.60
1946-D$0.09$0.05 $0.90$0.60
1946-S$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.70
1947$0.09$0.05 $1.50$1.00
1947-D$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.70
1947-S$0.09$0.05 $0.90$0.60
1948$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.80
1948-D$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.70
1948-S$0.09$0.05 $1.10$0.80
1949$0.09$0.05 $1.10$0.80
1949-D$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.70
1949-S$0.09$0.05 $2.00$1.40
Date & MintCirculated Uncirculated
BuySell BuySell
1950$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.70
1950-D$0.09$0.05 $0.90$0.60
1950-S$0.09$0.05 $0.90$0.60
1951$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.70
1951-D$0.09$0.05 $0.90$0.60
1951-S$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.70
1952$0.09$0.05 $1.20$0.90
1952-D$0.09$0.05 $0.90$0.70
1952-S$0.09$0.05 $2.20$1.50
1953$0.09$0.05 $0.90$0.70
1953-D$0.09$0.05 $0.90$0.60
1953-S$0.09$0.05 $1.00$0.70
1954$0.09$0.05 $0.90$0.70
1954-D$0.09$0.05 $0.60$0.40
1954-S$0.09$0.05 $0.50$0.40
1955$0.09$0.05 $0.60$0.40
1955 Dbl Die Obv *$1,000.00$700.00 $2,600.00$1,800.00
1955-D$0.09$0.05 $0.50$0.40
1955-S$0.09$0.05 $0.50$0.40
1956$0.09$0.05 $0.50$0.40
1956-D$0.09$0.05 $0.60$0.40
1957$0.09$0.05 $0.50$0.40
1957-D$0.09$0.05 $0.50$0.40
1958$0.09$0.05 $0.60$0.40
1958-D$0.09$0.05 $0.50$0.40
Complete
Date-Mint Set
$1,300.00$950.00 $10,000.00$7,500.00
Complete
Date Set
$35.00$20.00 $800.00$550.00

* = See the article "Lincoln Wheat Penny Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties" for more information on these coins.

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